Personal Injury Claims for Dog Bites

Most dogs are well trained, well behaved and do not pose any danger to the public.

Thu 22 Dec 2016

By Judy

Personal Injury Claims for Dog Bites

Most dogs are well trained, well behaved and do not pose any danger to the public. However, all animals can be unpredictable, and a dog attack can be extremely serious. Injuries range from minor scratches to severe lacerations. In the worst cases, the injuries can be life threatening. A spokesperson from PI Manchester said: ‘Unfortunately, even dogs with no history of aggression or biting have the capacity to attack. It is important for pet owners to know where they stand if someone makes a claim against them.’

Perhaps the most important legislation covering dog bites is the Dangerous Dog Act 1991. This Act identifies a number of breeds that are banned in the UK. However, personal injury claims can be made against the owners any dog, regardless of whether it is covered by the Act or not.

If you are in a situation where a dog has bitten you, or your dog has attacked someone, you may be unsure about your legal position. We have prepared this helpful guide to give you some information about the law surrounding dog bites.

Can You Make a Claim?

To make a personal injury claim, you need to prove that a person owed you a duty of care and that they negligently failed to meet this standard of care. In the context of animal attacks, an example of this duty of care could be that a pet owner had an obligation to muzzle their dog, but they failed to do so.

Strict time limits apply to all kinds of personal injury claims, so a dog bite claim must be brought within three years of the injury.

How Much Can Be Claimed?

The level of compensation that can be claimed will vary as each dog bite claim will have unique circumstances. One of the main factors that influences the compensation awarded is the extent of the injuries received. Naturally, the more severe the injuries, the higher the compensation pay-out will be. The extent of pain suffered and whether surgery was necessary to recover from the injury will also contribute to the compensation level. If the injuries have affected the injured party’s social and work life, this may also impact the compensation award.

Compensation claims are not restricted to physical injuries. It is also possible to claim for the psychological trauma involved in an animal attack.

Evidence plays a crucial role in making a claim. Medical reports, photographs, and witness statements can help to establish what happened and the liability of the dog owner.

If you are thinking of making a claim for a dog bite or are having a claim made against you, you should consult an experienced solicitor for advice.